Archive for the ‘Teens’ Category

Jewelry Organizer

Grace: As you probably already know, I am obsessed with earrings. I own so many pairs that I literally have nowhere to put them. My love for earrings may be a bit over the top, but I know that I am not the only girl who owns so many pairs she doesn’t know what to do with them all. For me, earrings are always a default gift; if I can’t think of anything creative or unique for my friends, I’ll end up buying them a nice pair of earrings.

Earrings have been around for hundreds of years; the earliest sign of earrings was found in art work in ancient Persia. Historically, piercing and other forms of body modification were used as a sign of wealth and status. For example, in southeast Alaska it used to be very difficult to raise one’s social status, so in order to ensure their child’s social ranking, parents would hold a community feast. At this feast, the parent or host would pay members of their group to pierce the rims of their child’s ears. The more feasts, the more rings. Since these feasts were fairly expensive, the number of holes indicated levels of wealth.

Today, the piercing of one’s ears is quite popular and is no longer used as a sign of social ranking. However, as I mentioned before, it is quite easy to accumulate earrings, especially if you’ve had your ears pierced for a very long time. I have no way of organizing my earrings other than to store them in boxes, and it has become a hassle to go through that box every morning and untangle my earrings and try to locate pairs. In a world where stress levels are already high, the last thing anyone needs is stress caused by unorganized earrings.

I found this great earring organizer that is both decorative and functional (I’m a big fan of things that look nice but are also practical). Shaped like a tree, you can hook your earrings onto the branches, or you can even hang your bracelets and necklaces! Instead of just buying your friend jewelry, why not buy her something she can use to organize it all? It’ll probably get more use than just a pair of earrings (to be honest, I only wear a given pair for maybe 6 months until I’m ready to move on to the next pair), and it’s a great decorative piece too!

JBL Spyro Speakers

Grace: Dan has decided to be a slacker and go on vacation for the week, so I am stuck posting on my own :(

Before I started my freshman year at Hamilton College, I was given a new, shiny Macbook as a graduation gift.  I am absolutely in love with my computer; it works like a dream and I’ve never had any serious problems with it.  My only complaint, however, are the speakers; they are so quiet!  I like to listen to music while I study, even though there is no statistically significant data indicating that music improves test scores, but I can’t hear anything at all!  My only hope was to wear my harmful earbuds and hope I didn’t got deaf.

I was so tired of my computer’s speakers, that I went out and bought the JBL Spyro speakers.  It may be the girly girl in me, but I love the fact that these speakers are visually appealing in addition to sounding great.  These speakers may be too feminine for some men, but that is really up to you to decide.  Just remember to take the gift recipient’s tastes into consideration before buying a gift, no matter how much we gush over it.

What I really love about these speakers, besides the great sound quality and subwoofer, is their compact size.  I like to keep my desk very spacious and clean, so gigantic speakers weren’t really right for me.  The floret shaped speakers are perfect for someone who doesn’t have a lot of room on their desk, but don’t want to sacrifice sound quality for compactness.  The sound quality is very clean, and the speakers themselves are easy to use.

I would highly recommend these speakers, or any speakers really, as a gift for a college student (especially one who owns a Mac; I know I’m not the only one who complains about their speakers).  There’s no need to buy an insanely expensive sound system for a college student, but it’s nice to have quality speakers.

Scrapbooks: A Fun Way to Keep Memories

Grace: As a poor college student, I have a hard time finding gifts for my friends that I think they’d enjoy but won’t leave me broke. The easy way out would be to buy clothing or jewelry, but those gifts can get repetitive and boring.

As a very hands-on person, I love the idea of giving a scrapbook as a gift. Scrapbooking is a fun and easy activity that anyone can partake in; all it takes is a little time and patience. It is a visual form of story telling that was first practiced in ancient Greece. As more people became literate and no longer had to hire scribes to record their thoughts and memories for them, scrapbooks became more popular. Sometime during 15th century England, scrapbooks started appearing as personal journals where recipes, letters, quotes, and other memorable items were placed. Today, scrapbooks are used mainly to preserve memories.

For my friend’s 20th birthday, a bunch of my friends and I decided to buy and start a scrapbook for her, and it was a complete success! We started out with a simple scrapbook, nice and affordable, and started 2 pages. In order to give her a little push, we bought her some stickers, glue, glitter, and other fun crafty things, and printed out a bunch of pictures we thought she would enjoy.

I wasn’t sure if my friend would actually continue scrapbooking, but come finals she’s always sitting in her room cutting paper and pasting pictures. She finds that it’s a great way to relieve stress (and procrastinate). A scrapbook is a great gift for someone who loves arts and crafts and also has the patience and time to actually work on one.

Dan: I have never personally made a scrapbook of my own, but I have received one as a gift. It was a memory capsule of many of the major moments during my four years in high school. I cherish that present more than any other gift I have ever been given. It is so important to me that it has to come to college with me throughout the year so that when I become over-stressed I can open it up and laugh about good times from the past. I am so happy that you gave this gift recommendation, Grace, because it is a very special one. You beat me to it! :-)


High End Guitar For a Low Price

How about the gift of music? I have been playing guitar since the sixth grade and will always love to make music with my own hands. It is one thing to listen to music, but it is completely different to be able to say, “I did that!” If there is someone you need a gift for who loves listening to music but does not know how to play an instrument, I highly recommend buying them a guitar for the occasion.

Guitars come in all different shapes and sizes (and price ranges). I began playing a bass guitar and eventually taught myself how to play the acoustic guitar. Guitars range between $100 to anything you can imagine; but, you can find very playable and durable quality guitars at any price range. If you want to check out a wide variety of guitars (pretty much all different brands) check out GuitarCenter (they typically have the lowest prices and match competitor prices if you push them).

If it’s that Jimmy Hendrix/Clapton sound you think they want…I recommend a standard American stratocaster. This guitar is great sounding and will last forever; it is a great guitar to have for your first instrument. Does Pantera or Metallica suit their fancy…go with any ESP for sure. Is Led Zeppelin their favorite band…go with a Gibson or Epiphone. The list can go on, but keep in mind when shopping for guitars that they all have their own sound. If you are buying someone a guitar for a gift, have them go with you or make sure you have really checked it out before you make the purchase.

I personally recommend that if the person is going to start out on the electric guitar to get a standard Fender strat. If they want an electric bass guitar, go with either an Ibanez bass or Fender jazz bass. The guitar is the ultimate gift of music. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to pay a lot of money for a teacher; a book, video, etc will do just fine! 

-Dan

Summer Fun Gifts

I got a question just the other day from someone about summer gift ideas for kids. If you have a pool or have access to a pool, beach, or lake, this is the ultimate gift idea! Imagine cruising on a skateboard underwater, seamlessly gliding as if you were a dolphin. The toy, known as the subskate, is designed for children. Most likely though, if you were to see me at the pool I would be taking it from some helpless kid so that I could play with it.

This toy is perfect for any and all ages and will keep any child (or adult) busy for hours. As a warning, I would not recommend this toy to little children or inexperienced swimmers, as it is a toy made for underwater play. So if your kids are getting bored at the pool and you have run out of ideas check out the subskate. The best deal that I could find for the subskate is at Toys R’ Us.

– Dan